Hey Gasmi, is everybody ready to spend a lot of time examining the most sublime human emotion? What? No, it’s not rage against Al Roker. That’s the most justifiable emotion. No, I’m talking about love, the one four letter word standards and practices doesn’t have a problem with. Oh and Alpha is back and has decided to base his life on a Billy Crystal catch phrase. We mentioned his cheese isn’t all the way on his burger, right? Anyway make the jump and see what’s cooking in the Dollhouse.
I haven’t seen anybody this pleased with their outfit since that first Thanksgiving where I wore sweatpants
Our episode starts out in the desert somewhere. Some lonesome cowpoke type is yammering on and on about love and losing everything in his life for a woman who never even existed. After a while we see the cowpoke is talking to some guy in a suit, and eventually we find out that somebody is our old buddy Alpha (Who was Denthead on V, and Wash on Firefly, and well a bunch of other names in other stuff, because Alan Tudyk is a kickass actor, so he works a lot). Alpha tells Cowpoke that it was a touching story, and then whips out a knife and slashes the lonesome cowpoke. Remind me never to watch the Hallmark Channel with Alpha.
We come back from the opening credits, and we see what is the latest fashion trend at the dollhouse, sleeves. They are long, extra long, and strapped behind the woman’s back. No wait, Echo is wearing a straight jacket, my bad. Somebody call Anna Wintour and tell her it’s a false alarm, and we can go back to Fashion DefCon 2.
Admit it, it’s more functional and better looking then half the stuff that was on Project Runway this season
Anyway, Echo is stuck in an isolation cell strapped into the aforementioned straight jacket and she is pretty messed up. Well everybody not named Houdini is pretty messed up if they are in a straight jacket, but Echo is in an extra bad place. Those headaches she was having in the last episode seem to be getting worse, and not only is she not getting her treatment, but some disembodied doctor voice is gently grilling her on where she was and who she was with for the last three months.
It turns out the disembodied voice is Victor who has been turned into a psychiatrist and while he’s interrogating Echo, DeWitt, Boyd and Pucker Face are watching through two-way glass. Pucker Face is making a stink about how this is cruel, and don’t kid yourself, it is cruel. That being said, DeWitt is kind of in the right when she points out that Pucker Face’s story about Echo being on her on for those three missing months is super shaky at best.
Of course DeWitt then goes on to say that Echo can look forward to getting tortured, sorry, interrogated every day until DeWitt gets some answers she’s happy with.
DeWitt exits stage right and Pucker Face promptly starts whining to Boyd about what a big [insert any word that rhymes with itch, taught, or bunt here] DeWitt is being. Boyd reminds us again why he’s one of the most likeable characters on this show when he points out that DeWitt isn’t torturing Echo to get Echo to talk, she’s doing it to make Pucker Face squirm.
This doesn’t faze Pucker Face who keeps going on how this is completely unfair and asks Boyd if he thinks it’s right. Boyd once again points out the glaring facts that right or wrong doesn’t have anything to do with the situation, and that Pucker Face needs to man up because them keeping mumsy on their three month vaykay in shitkicker land is the only thing that will keep Echo out of the attic. Thank you Boyd, for saying to Pucker Face what everyone in the audience is thinking, which is actually what Boyd spent most of the last episode doing with DeWitt.
Keep whining and I’ll be pouring sugar in your gas tank next. Now as for who is going to poo in your desk drawer…
We go over to DeWitt who is talking with Victor/Shrink about Echo, and he thinks Echo is fine. On the other hand Victor Shrink thinks DeWitt is completely repressed, but come on dude, she’s English. They are hardwired that way, and for bad teeth. It’s science, or at least something I just made up.
This diagnosis earns Victor/Shrink a trip to the chair, and allows DeWitt to continue this conversation with Topher. Topher thinks psychiatry is a big load of hooie, but he says according to all of Echo’s brain pictures, she’s fine and if she has any problems they are all in her cute little noggin.
This isn’t the answer DeWitt is looking for and she kind of stomps off. Yep DeWitt, it’s tough having everyone in the office hate you, but should kind of be expected for turning over a device that can enslave humanity to you’re a-hole bosses, and not springing for a Christmas tree in the lobby because of “budget constraints.”
We cut from this, to Topher talking with Pucker Face and Boyd. It turns out he was mainly lying when he was talking with DeWitt, because he can tell by Echo’s scans that there is a situation in Echo’s head, and Boyd and PF need to tell him what’s going on right now. They spill the beans right away because Topher is cool. Wow, sorry for the pause but I don’t type those last three words in that last sentence very often, so they always throw me off my game.
Anyway, Topher finds out that Echo isn’t really being wiped when she comes in for treatments. She can remember everybody they have put in her mind, and she’s reached the point where she can bring up the personalities at will. Topher makes a face like somebody took his HeMan out of the box (just so you all know, that’s not a sexual reference), and we cut over to DeWitt’s office.
DeWitt is pouring a couple of Scotches, and am I the only one who’s noticed since she hopped back on the bad guy train, she’s pretty much switched from tea to ethyl alcohol? She has Pucker Face come down to give him the good news, that she has decided that Echo has a clean bill of health, so she is sending her back into the field, on a boning assignment, sorry, romantic assignment. Pucker Face isn’t happy to hear this, because even though he wasn’t willing to play hide the active with Echo last episode, it doesn’t mean he wants her making the sweet, sweet love with whatever bozo can swing the credit card authorization
Pucker Face makes some noise about maybe Echo shouldn’t go back to the field so soon, but DeWitt responds to this by telling him to suck it, in the most refined and restrained British way possible. And then everybody has scotch. You know, I don’t care that they are enslaving people, and twisting science in ways it was never imagined, I want to put a job app in at this place.
After we drink, we will move on to the airing of grievances
So they peel Echo out of her kicky new straight jacket and after she and Pucker Face flirt a little bit, they head on down to meet Topher. Topher is quietly, quietly for Topher anyway, freaking out about Echo and the fact she’s got 31+ personalities inside her that just happens to include a serial killer. Echo shows up and she and Topher say hi before he goes to load her gig’s person into her mind.
The only thing is Topher doesn’t get the chance because it’s a repeat engagement so Echo just has to close her eyes, and poof! All done. Topher is kind of freaked by this because it means his job is now obsolete. Topher says this makes him feel like an old person or Blockbuster. I’d go with Blockbuster if I was Topher, because while Eliza Dushku’s acting has a lot of effects on people, it doesn’t make anyone’s prostate gland swell up to the size of a bagel.
Echo and Pucker Face take their act on the road, which gives them the perfect excuse to have yet another heart to heart about how Pucker Face doesn’t like her sleeping with other guys. Echo says she doesn’t like it either, but nobody mentions that Pucker Face doesn’t seem to like Echo sleeping with him either
Echo does point out the one thing that Pucker Face has never seemed to get, she isn’t Echo when she is with clients, she actually is whoever the person that the Dollhouse put in her head, so it’s not really cheating. By the way, Tiger Woods? If you just read this paragraph, trust me this is not an argument you want to use no matter how tempting it seems right now.
They get to wherever it is they are going, and whoever is inside. Echo goes hauling butt inside a McMansion to hook up with her sweet baboo. Too bad, the trail of rose petals leads her to the semi-mummified body of the lonesome cowpoke from scene one.
Because nothing says I love you like a big mess for the maid to clean up.
Echo pitches a justified poop fit, and after the commercial break, Boyd shows up. Pucker Face tells him that Echo hasn’t been able to snap out of the personality in her head, and with a little simple detective work that involves reading the card he left for them they are able to figure out that Alpha killed Lonesome Cowpoke.
We go back to the Dollhouse where Boyd and Pucker Face have just told DeWitt that it looks like Alpha is back in their lives. DeWitt responds to this news by putting Echo back in isolation, because according to her Echo has to be Alpha’s accomplice. Okay, even DeWitt doesn’t think this is true; it’s just another way for her to try to get Pucker Face to admit he and Echo were vacation buddies. Sadly it doesn’t work, well unless you enjoy Pucker Face looking extra puckery, they it works like gang busters.
We slide from this into Boyd and Pucker Face doing a little actual TV detective work. They are taping up pictures of all the former clients of Echo’s who have been murdered, or died mysteriously in the last few weeks. Not surprisingly, they are well on their way to an almost complete softball team. The one thing all the dearly departeds have in common is using Echo for romance engagements. This leads to Boyd asking the big question that keeps the story going, who’s next?
We don’t find out just yet, because Sierra gets back from her engagement, looking very Veronica Lake, and talking very Barbra Stanwyck, which is a combination that will always work for this particular waffleboy. She’s been done wrong by a man, or as she calls him, “a Johnny Two Step.” Topher is just humoring her and this scene seems pretty pointless, until she mentions Johnny’s actual name, Alpha.
After Topher poops a brick, we go over to a meeting in DeWitt’s office and after getting the bad news that Alpha is now their client of the month, DeWitt says she wants every doll in the house wiped. She’s all set to call meeting adjourned when Topher tells her about something Sierra said off camera. According to Sierra Alpha said the next lover ages well. This was gibberish to me, but a pretty important clue to Boyd and Pucker Face because they exit stage left.
As Topher is zapping an army of dolls with treatments, Boyd and Pucker Face get back to their detecting, and in about 10 seconds of talking are able to figure out who’s due to get killed in an entertaining way. Sure it sounds like a bull stuff way to get the next plot point into the story, but after a month of watching the FBI mom in V solve mysteries off camera, it feels as developed as an James Patterson novel.
Boyd and Pucker Face swoop in on the next guy’s pad with a whole mess of their fake SWAT guys, and find out that Alpha has next victim tied up in a chair on a helicopter pad. Boyd and Pucker Face are telling Alpha he needs to just give up and not hurt the semi-nameless extra.
Alpha doesn’t want to talk about this, and doesn’t have to because he’s bug fugging nuts. He keeps chattering about his suit and how Pucker Face dresses like poop. I’ve got no arguments with what he is saying; I just think it was a dick move putting Tim Gunn in his body.
Alpha chatters some more about the nature of love, and how none of Echo’s clients really loved her, and everybody has to listen because he’s holding this remote control gizmo that will blow semi-nameless extra all hooie kablooie if he takes his finger off the button.
Of course he does, and this causes the semi-nameless extra to explode in a way I didn’t think you could get on network TV, and also allows him to escape even though he was pretty much trapped.
Boyd and Pucker Face head back to the Bat Cave to figure out who Alpha is going to kill next. Luckily for the plot, there is only really one guy who Alpha can go after; this nerdy little internet guy who used to have Echo come over every year on the anniversary of his wife’s death and live out the way that day would have gone if she hadn’t died.
Okay so it should be pretty simple for them to get in contact with this guy and let him know that a genius serial killing active is gunning for him, and he should seriously duck and cover, right? No such luck. It turns out this particular guy just happens to have gone a yearly retreat he takes every year and nobody knows where he is at.
We cut to the little guy who is walking along the beach just minding his own business when Pucker Face shows up. The little guy freaks out, because Pucker Face kicked the crap out of him last season and got him to swear off the dollhouse. Pucker Face tells the little guy he’s in danger and needs to come with him.
No, no, no, no, no! I don’t want a fucking timeshare!
The little guy tells Pucker Face, no can do, because the little guy has met a real woman and is getting married next week. This resolve goes right out the window when Echo shows up sporting his dead wife’s personality.
The little guy gets shuttled over to the dollhouse and just wants to go be alone with Echo. Sadly for him, DeWitt shows up and tells him they can’t do that, but as a consolation prize he can hang out with Topher. For me that would be a pretty cool consolation prize, but the little guy looks like somebody told him they just stopped making Funyuns; still he and Topher exit stage left, which gives DeWitt the prefect opportunity to let Boyd and Pucker Face know just how unhappy she is that they are blowing her off, and she’s just about at the end of her patience because she lets them know that even though she doesn’t know what they are doing; she knows they are in cahoots. By the way this would come off as completely paranoid, if she didn’t happen to be right. After Dewitt gets this out of her system, she says they are going to ship the little guy off to a hotel and she is going to be keeping Boyd and PF on a very short leash.
We go over to Topher’s office where he is giving the little guy the world’s most unwanted tour, and in the course of trying to give the little guy a pep talk he just happens to spill the beans that Alpha is not only trying to kill the little guy, but that Alpha is a genius insane serial killer with a jillion personalities in his noggin, who not only killed a bunch of people and broke out of the dollhouse, but broke back in too. I think we can mark the 34 minute mark of tonight’s episode as the time of death for Topher’s career as a motivational speaker.
DeWitt has moved back to her office where she is talking to her assistant on the speakerphone when she hears the one thing you don’t want to hear in your workspace, a toilet flushing. Well she doesn’t want to hear it because she has a bathroom in her office and it means that somebody is in there that shouldn’t be. You or I don’t want to hear that sound at work because it means your cube mate just shattered some serious privacy barriers.
DeWitt then sees the one person you don’t want to see coming out of your bathroom. What? No, not Carlos Mencia. Okay, the second person you don’t want to see coming out of your bathroom, Alpha.
alcohol may not solve a lot of problems, but when you’re cornered by a serial killer it definitely doesn’t hurt
DeWitt is, well normally I’d say scared poopless, but she looks like she might have already had a Depends moment. It doesn’t matter, because she is terrified. She offers Alpha Echo, and the little guy, but Alpha isn’t interested in that right now, because he’s got a big envelope of pictures he wants to show DeWitt.
DeWitt suddenly isn’t so scared, because the pictures are of Echo and Pucker Face when they were supposedly not together. You can tell DeWitt is just itching to tear Pucker Face a new bodily orifice, but she doesn’t get the chance, because Alpha wants to walk out into the middle of the Dollhouse, so they exit stage right.
Meanwhile, Pucker Face and Boyd are putting their super detective brains together to figure out where Alpha could be hiding when Pucker Face sees him riding with DeWitt in her personal elevator. Boyd tells Pucker Face to go get the little guy and he goes after DeWitt.
I think we can all agree that Boyd’s Sherlock Holmes face needs a little work
Everybody sees everybody else at the same time on the floor of the dollhouse. Too bad for the good guys, Alpha has brought his own flashlight of doom. The only thing is Alpha’s flashlight of doom doesn’t knock out dolls; instead it turns them to kung fu badasses who live for nothing but wailing on the nearest non-doll.
We then get treated to about a solid minute of every goon in a black suit getting wailed on by what seems to be the world’s angriest yoga class. Echo gets zapped too, but it doesn’t seem to work on her. It just lets her know that her creepy stalker is back.
During the fight, Boyd tells DeWitt to get the hell out of there, and she manages to lock herself in an office as the dolls are pounding on the door like a bad zombie movie, or a good one; they are all pretty much the same thing.
We cut over to Topher who has just finished giving Victor his treatment when all H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks breaks loose. The little guy wants to know what is going on and Topher barley has time to make a quip before Victor lays him out with one punch. This is right before Alpha walks in and scares the crap out of the little guy.
Pucker Face fights his way through all the goons and makes it over to Topher’s office, where he finds an unconscious Topher. When Topher comes to, he tells Pucker Face that Alpha has the little guy in the treatment room. This causes Pucker Face to make a beeline for the room, and he isn’t surprised to see that Alpha has the little guy in the chair. However, Pucker Face is totally surprised when Victor tranqs him, and I am kind of surprised when we find out that Alpha was gunning for Pucker Face all along.
When we come back from yet another commercial break, Alpha has Pucker Face in the Chair and all of these barrettes stuck on his ample forehead. Pucker Face wants to know what is going on, which gives Alpha the perfect excuse to launch into another crazy mumbo jumbo rant about love. The only thing you need to remember about this one is that Alpha is steamed that Echo loves Pucker Face and Pucker Face loves her.
Pucker Face gets all worked up. Love? He was mentoring her, and she’s a doll so any affection she has for Pucker Face had to have been put there. Alpha isn’t buying this so he plays the sex card.
Or, the not having sex card in this case; Alpha knows that Pucker Face and Echo were bunking in the same room for three months and there was absolutely no hanky panky going on. So either Pucker Face loves Echo or Pucker Face is gay. This leads to Pucker Face making the most strangely defensive face of the night.
Hey my college roommate and I were experimenting. That’s why we wore the white coats
Alpha then gets tired of the convo and turns on the chair.
We go back to DeWitt who is getting pretty antsy because it looks like the dolls are going to break down the door at any second. Just then Echo kicks in the back door.
Yeah, I didn’t mention it earlier, because it would have entitled cutting into the last three scenes about five times, but when the poop hit the fan, Echo broke the security camera in her cell and used the lens to cut at X in that two-way mirror and jumped through it. Yes, it’s a little far fetched, but it’s also my escape plan from my apartment in case of a fire. By the way, I am so going to die in that situation.
Anyway Echo and DeWitt team up and after a little mutual bitchiness they exit stage left. And, we cut to Boyd and Topher (Topher?) fighting off dolls as the little guy stands off to the side. Echo and DeWitt show up and Echo announces that they should all go to the sleep chamber.
On the way over everyone starts filling each other, and us the audience, in on critical exposition. Topher tells how when Alpha sent Sierra back to the dollhouse, she not only had a message but was carrying a computer virus, which Topher spread to all the other dolls when they wiped them. Echo points out Alpha used his remote wipe gizmo, AKA the flashlight of doom, to activate the program and hence all the kung fu fighting.
It’s up to the little guy to drop the serious plot hook into the mix, well that Alpha has Pucker Face, and that is actually why he staged this little raid in the first place. As soon as Echo hears this she exits stage left to save her hunky boyfriend, I mean platonic roommate.
We go back to Alpha who is shocking the crap out of Pucker Face. Seriously this makes what Bennett was doing to Echo a while back look like a mani-pedi. Eventually Alpha cuts the juice to get in some more quality crazy talk and finds out Pucker Face is brain dead. This leads to Alpha about how trying to get inside Pucker Face’s head was maybe the wrong approach.
Back at the sleep chamber everybody thinks getting the hell out of the dollhouse is a great idea, but there are just too many zombie dolls running around. Topher remembers that his remote wipe gizmo is nearby, so he and Boyd exit stage right to save the day.
Then some stuff happens. Mainly Alpha puts a personality tape thingee in the chair and takes it for a spin, and Topher puts his gizmo together, but the action seriously starts back up again when Echo rolls up on Alpha.
Alpha has probably the line of the night. “Boyfriend’s dead. Wanna snuggle? Too soon?”
It’s a great line but what it gets Alpha is a pretty serious asskicking from Echo. Sure he gets a few licks in and makes a few comments about how Echo should be with him because they both have a mess of people living in their noodles, but when your sweet baboo throws both of you through a plate glass window and she lands on top of you after you fall at least a story, you can be marked down for one asskicking.
Cheer up Alpha, if she was carrying a seven iron this would be running in TMZ right now
Echo is all set to finish Alpha off, when suddenly Pucker Face’s personality shows up. On snap, Alpha downloaded Pucker Face into him. This stops the buttkicking, which is kind of strange because Pucker Face’s personality is pulling an Aliens and asks Echo to kill him.
Of course, Echo doesn’t which gives Alpha the opportunity to escape stage left. Topher’s gizmo actually works, so they are able to make their way over to where Echo is holding Pucker Face’s now brain dead body.
Then some indi rock starts playing and we flip ahead to everything being semi-back to normal at the dollhouse. The little guy stops by to tell Echo he is heading out even though Alpha is still out there. Then in a very cool scene, Echo becomes the little guy’s dead wife, who he still loves very much, and they have a good talk about the woman he is going to marry and how he still loves his wife, and she thinks that it’s good that he is moving on with his life. Look like I said, this is a very good scene and if you haven’t seen it, you should check it out because I’m not doing it justice.
When the little guy leaves, Echo goes back to Pucker Face’s bed. They got him hooked up on life support and she tells Pucker Face to live on for her. The last thing we see in this episode is DeWitt, who now knows all the big secrets, and she looks super pissed. The End.
Okay, a pretty above average episode in my book, not perfect, but some big questions got answered and a couple of new ones opened up.
I never gave him credit in the post, but the little guy was played by Patton Oswalt, an awesome stand up comedian, who if you haven’t seen his act, he comes across as the world’s angriest Teddy Ruxpin doll (by the way I so wish I thought that comparison up, but it looks like everyone on Google already thought of if first). Anyway, Patton shows off some very nice acting chops in this episode and was pretty good last season too.
Oh, and by the way, as someone who has gutted up on cheap Eliza Dushku jokes this season, I have to mention she was pretty good in that last scene as the dead guy’s wife. I still don’t think Dushku-bibble is the next coming of Meryl Streep, but if you don’t get her too far out of her wheelhouse, she can get you a good scene. By the way, having her be blind is too far out of her wheelhouse. Note to self, I owe Josh Whedon one nut punch for that one.
Is anyone else as excited as I am to see what DeWitt will do with Echo’s big secret? Shoot, I’m still trying to figure out if she is a full fledged bad guy. She might have just figured that turning over Topher’s Evil Thingee of Doom was the only way she could get the dollhouse back and fight against the real bad guys? Then again, maybe not. Oh and too be honest I could kind of see why she’s been so pissed off since Echo got back. It was sort of like the rest of the house was treating her like a moron.
Anyway, what did you guys think? I think we’ve got one more set of double episodes tomorrow, and then it gets back to one a week in January to finish out the season.
We’ll talk soon, and thanks for stopping by